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The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat (First Time Books) Paperback – August 12, 1989

4.6 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

As Brother and Sister Bear don their costumes to go trick-or-treating by themselves for the first time, they plan to avoid Miz McGrizz's spooky home. But during their Halloween outing, the cubs discover that appearances can be deceiving.

About the Author

Stan and Jan Berenstain were both born in 1923 in Philadelphia.  They didn't know each other as children, but met later at school, at the Philadelphia College of Art.  They liked each other right away, and found out that the both enjoyed the same kinds of books, plays, music and art.  During World War II, Stan was a medical assistant in the Army, and Jan worked in an airplane factory.  When the war was over, they got married and began to work together as artists and writers, primarily drawing cartoons for popular magazines.  After having their two sons Leo and Michael, the Berenstains decided to write some funny children's books that their children and other children could read and enjoy.  Their first published children's book was called The Big Honey Hunt.  It was about a family of bears, who later became known as the "Berenstain Bears."  


Stan and Jan planned all of their books together. They both wrote the stories and created the pictures.  They continued to live outside of Philadelphia in the country.  There are now over 300 Berenstain Bears books.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (August 12, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679800913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679800910
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Like the book The Berenstain Bears' New Neighbors, The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat is a book tackling the subject of prejudice and not judging people by appearances.

However, like the other book, Papa's animosity and presumption is just too over the top--and, in my opinion, reinforces prejudice rather than challenges it.

For example, on the next to the last page, the kids are happily eating their take from Trick or Treating. Papa asks them where the beautiful candy apples came from. Brother and Sister inform him that they came from old Miz McGrizz.

"From that scary-looking old grouch puss that lives down Crooked Lane?", he asks. While the kids were surprised at Mizz McGrizz's kindness and friendliness and learned a lesson about rumors and assumption, the book ends on a rather sour note with Papa Bear's judgmentalism. In my opinion, it reinforces stereotype about the elderly and small-town rumors about "scary old people" who live in a "haunted house".

I feel that The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin is a far better book to celebrate the Fall season (although that one is more about thankfulness/Thanksgiving).

This book has great illustrations because of the night scenes, to be sure, but I don't like how the ending focuses mostly on Papa Bear's insult against Mizz McGrizz (although it's great that the kids, at least, realized the error of their assumption based on neighborhood legend...)
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Format: Paperback
The book's message, "appearances can be quite deceiving," focuses on a spooky, old house with an elderly woman named Miz MGrizz. The little bears learn to not judge people unkindly by their appearance.

This is a tricky message as so much of the parental advice prior to Halloween is for kids to be on their guard.

The book does reinforce some great Halloween safety messages:

1. Stay in your own neighborhood.
2. Don't eat the treats until you get home and Mama Bear inspects them.

I also recommend these other Berenstain Bears' books:

The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Chores
The Berenstain Bears Forget Their MannersThe Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight
The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV
The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers
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Format: Paperback
The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat is a book I remember well from my childhood. The story starts out innocently enough with brother and sister bear comparing each other's costumes. Like most Berenstain Bears books, the story unwravels into a deeper subplot; a spooky elderly neighbor from across the street that brother and sister are afraid of. Papa tends to side with both, while Mama, being perhaps the only sensible family member of the series, tends to disagree with both as "appearances can be deciving" and that the cubs should give the women a chance.

When trick or treating comes along, Brother and Sister are still frightened by the whole ordeal, along with the other cubs coming along with them for their "trick or treat date". The Too Tall Gang, being much too trouble for their own good, randomly appear out of no where (as gangs tend to do) and have some plans of their own for the spooky neighbor, holding rolls of toilet paper in their hands for some good old Halloween fun. Brother and sister appear aprehensive about their plans for crimes, but decide to do so anyway. As the gang approches the house, they are stopped abruptly before the chance to toilet paper the women's house as she steps out to see what all the fuss is about.

The cubs are exsaperated with fear to be invited into the women's house. When they enter the house, however, they are shocked to be greeted by a batch of candy apples! Noticing none appear to have been take, Brother and Sister ask her about this, where she implies that no one had come all night. Brother and sister then realize how silly they were for being so biogted against their neighbor. Despite her old age and creepy looking tree house, she is a kind old lady who means well, with delicious candy apples for all.
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This is a great Halloween story. Of course, it's the Berenstain Bears - so it's almost a guaranteed hit - but it has a nice story too.

Brother and Sister Bear are preparing to go trick or treating with friends and are led astray - to the "haunted house" of the meanest bear in the town - but they learn the appearances can be deceiving!

Nicely written, a good moral, and yes, Papa Bear might not be the brightest Bear in the world - but he is just Papa - always himself, always honest, and very well balanced out by sensible Mama!!!

A definite find for the holiday!
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Format: Paperback
The Berenstain Bears "Trick or Treat" is a good book for the 1st time readers. It tells the story of Brother and Sister on Halloween night. They are scarred to go to Miz McGrizz's house because they think she is a witch. They end up going there trying to cuase trouble but are suprised when they find out that she is a very nice person.
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